This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanenceby John Piper, Grover Gardner
Reflecting on forty years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant for all the best reasons. Even in the days when people commonly stayed married "’til death do us part,” there has never been a generation whose view of marriage was high enough, says Pastor John Piper.
Reflecting on forty years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant for all the best reasons. Even in the days when people commonly stayed married "’til death do us part,” there has never been a generation whose view of marriage was high enough, says Pastor John Piper. That is all the more true in our casual times. Though personal selfishness and cultural bondage obstruct the wonder of God’s purpose, it is found in God’s Word, where his design can awaken a glorious vision capable of freeing every person from small, Christ-ignoring, romance-intoxicated views. As Piper explains in reflecting on forty years of matrimony: "Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God. And ultimately, marriage is the display of God. It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does. Marriage, therefore, is not mainly about being in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. And staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ’s covenant-keeping love on display.” This Momentary Marriage unpacks the biblical vision, its unexpected contours, and its weighty implications for married, single, divorced, and remarried alike.
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What People are saying about this
"Theologically, this book exalts human marriage as a metaphor for the ultimate love story in Christ. Practically, it applies that glorious vision of grace to our daily experiences in marriage, singleness, parenthood, and the most universal of human realities-sin. This book opens our eyes and guides our feet with the grace of Christ."
—Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee
"This book is a treasure in an era when the common perspective on marriage has been more shaped by sitcoms and self-help books than by Scripture. Dr. Piper lifts our hearts and minds to God's vision for marriage. Embracing God's design and purposes for marriage can make our homes tastes of heaven."
—Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author; radio host, Revive Our Hearts
"This is not a 'how to' book on marriage. Instead, this is a 'why to' book. And that's what this culture desperately needs."
—Dennis Rainey, President and CEO, FamilyLife; host, FamilyLife Today; author, Stepping Up
"Miss the radical message of this book and you'll miss the joyful point of marriage. Heed the surprising call of this book and you'll appreciate the sacred privilege of marriage that our culture fails to see."
—Larry Crabb, Jr., Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Colorado Christian University
"A highly original contribution to Christian teaching on marriage. A copy should be put into the hands of every couple preparing for lasting and loving wedlock."
—Charles Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview
"This book grew out of John Piper's forty years of experience in marriage and many years of parenting, pastoring, and studying Scripture. It is filled with rich, practical wisdom about the nature of marriage as a wonderful but temporary gift from God. I have taught about marriage for over thirty years, and I still found much that I could learn from this book."
—Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary
"The reason this book is so delightful is that it sets marriage within the matrix of the Bible's fundamental themes: the glory of God, the outworking of justification, the relationship between this life and the life to come, how husbands and wives are to interact with each other this side of the cross, and much more of the same. This is not another little 'how to' book-yet if its God-centered and gospel-centered theology is genuinely absorbed, so many of the 'how to' questions will be robustly answered."
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition
"John Piper's new book on marriage is an instant classic. It is at once biblical and devotional, the fruit of seasoned theological reflection and four decades of 'momentary' marriage."
—Andreas J. Köstenberger, Senior Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Meet the Author
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
Noël Piper (BA, Wheaton College) and her husband, John, ministered at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota for over 30 years. She is the author of Treasuring God in Our Traditions and Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God.
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As a soon-to-be husband as well as a youth pastor, I wanted to read this to see Piper's perspective on marriage. If you are unfamiliar with John Piper, he basically has the same premise of each of his books, glorifying God by enjoying Him forever, revealed in different ways. Here, Piper unpacks how we might glorify God in marriage. He goes beyond the cliches of "men are visual, physical, and think in boxes" and "females are relational." Piper begins with, and focuses on throughout the book, the reality of marriage not as being in love but rather as an analogy or picture of Christ and the Church. Whether you are single, about to marry, or have been married for decades, this book will encourage you to live for Christ in all His glory.
With all of the false ideas of what love and marriage are to be, this book is a refreshing commentary. Piper clearly shares the teaching of Scripture, that marriage is a reflection of Christ's relationship with his Church. As believers in Jesus, we're to live out this reflection both to the glory of God and as a testimony to those around us.
John Piper and his marriage views turn a blind eye to the reality of domestic abuse present within the church. As much as it seems he would like to pretend otherwise,there are wicked, abusive, mentally disturbed people who find a comfortable environment within the church, largely because of teachers like him. Piper's insistence that someone should be bound by vows that their spouse unrepentently and continuously breaks is unreasonable. Certianly, he requires that couples take vows in the marriage ceremonies at his church. I ask WHY? If one party to the covenant unrepentantly breaks the vows, the other is still bound to them. He doesn't allow divorce for adultery, either. In a violent marriage,a person is subjected to violence by the very one who vowed to love and protect them. How is this a picture of Christ's love for his church? It is a perversion and grieves God. I would like to ask readers, how would you feel if this abuse was to happen to one of your loved ones? Shouldn't we have the same empathy for all of Christ's people that we have for our own flesh and blood? His books are widely distributed in the church and used to furthur guilt and oppress Christ's people. A theology with no empathy towards the suffering of others cannot be from God, no matter how fancy the cover looks. I would recommend David Instone Brewer's Book, Divorce and Remarriage in the Church, Barbara Roberts book, Not Under Bondage and Jeff Crippen's book, A Cry For Justice:How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church. If you are not aware of what domestic violence is, try Lundy Bancroft's book,Why Does He Do That. A quick internet search will turn up many results, so the people of God have no excuse to not address this issue. Neither does John Piper.